5loth:From my experience, in normal practice if you buy a sony TV, and it is on backorder, you are then phoned a few weeks later and told that that mode is no longer available, you are then offered the newest model under that brand. It is certainly not normal for the retailer to then provide you with a Philips TV with similar specs. The brand is one of the most important things when you are buying an appliance, as a companies reputation and success is purely built on it's brand and it's brand loyalty.
you are also offered a refund, which is all I expect you will get.
A contract is a contract. The refund would only be if both parties agree, as both parties have to agree to terminate a contract. If one party doesn't agree, then the other party would be required to fulfill their end of the contract. If for some reason Sony had ceased making TVs, then an alternative brand could be substituted if both parties agree. However HP is still making these netbooks, it is just that the one that comes with XP is no longer available, the win 7 one is.
Obviously if the Asustek they supply is worth more on trademe me than the HP mini, and you can sell one for the same or more, then buy an HP mini on trademe, and it would be a win win situation. However I suspect there will a deluge of Asus netbooks on trademe in Feb. At least it will be a valid reason for selling it on trademe, rather than some of the reasons sellers had, such as 'I didn't realise it didn't come with a DVD drive.
I had read on the trademe messageboard that someone had said that the boxing day netbook that HN were planning on selling, were originally going to be Asus ones, but that the HP specs were better for the same price, so they went for those. Not sure how true that is. However if there is truth in that, these Asus netbooks may be those, and they maybe upgrading them in some way.